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The Scars I Bare (By The Bay Book 2) Kindle Edition
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From the Author
- File Size : 2266 KB
- Publication Date : March 12, 2018
- Print Length : 319 pages
- Publisher : JL Berg, LLC (March 12, 2018)
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Enhanced Typesetting : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- X-Ray : Enabled
- ASIN : B078ZKP3Y1
- Language: : English
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #309,642 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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The Scars I Bare is the second book in JL Berg’s By the Bay series. Each novel in the series focuses on a different couple so that they could be read as standalones, but Dean had a large part in the first book, The Choices I’ve Made, so reading it would help in the overall understanding of this book. The Scars I Bare is written in dual first-person perspective, narrated by Cora and Dean.
Lizzie, Cora’s daughter, was hands down the best part of this book. She was precocious and quick-witted and did not allow anyone to let their guard down for a second. I appreciated her thirst for knowledge was endearing. The way she orchestrated so many things to result in the outcome she wanted was impressive.
I liked how Dean was with Cora, how he let her guide their relationship, how he respected what her past had done to her, how he anticipated her needs and did his best to provide for them. However, I’m not sure I felt their chemistry. It seemed to me, the story was so focused on Cora and Dean respecting one another’s past traumas, it didn’t develop the overwhelming desire for one another I’ve come to expect in a romance novel.
My wish for the Scars I Bare is the same as it was for its predecessor, I wish we could have seen more of the healing the characters experienced on page. It felt like they were both struggling deeply then, all of a sudden, after one interaction they were all whole and healed. It lacked the emotional depth I was hoping for. I also wish Ms. Berg would have really gone there in regards to Cora’s ex, sure he got his behind kicked, but since she went halfway there, I would have loved to have seen her go all in with that situation.
I’ve read a few JL Berg novels, and I always find myself appreciating her ability to write about characters with uncommon struggles. While this isn’t the first book I’ve read about an amputee, it is the first about someone who lost an arm; which does affect everyday life in an entirely different and seemingly more consuming way than losing a leg. She also does it in a way that makes those struggles part of their story and not their entire story, which is wonderful. I hope she continues to choose these interesting and varied character traits; they make her books unique.
My favorite stories mix humor and heartbreak together, something the author manages here beautifully. The writing was wonderfully evocative, with such a smooth flow that it was almost lyrical, yet with dialogue and character interactions that came across as so real and authentic I was pulled into the story immediately. By 10% in I was already loving it, and by 17%, I went to go 1-click Jake and Molly's story, not because I felt I needed to read that story first (I absolutely didn't), but because I knew I was going to want to put it at the top of my TBR list.
There was just so much about this book I loved. How the title applied to both Cora and Dean, who each have their own scars, and how the author carried the theme of scars--and healing--throughout the book. How the author used excerpts from both Cora's blog and Dean's journal to sneak in bits of past events and feelings without using flashbacks or interrupting the flow of the story. I loved the writing I've already mentioned so much that I highlighted line after line, and paragraph after paragraph. Geek that I am, I have a special love for all the fandom references, from Star Wars to Harry Potter to Doctor Who, plus many others.
Then there's the set-up, including that Dean is still best friends with Jake and Molly, and though Dean is Molly's ex and Jake and Molly are now engaged, everyone is completely okay with each other--well, there was a little purposeful weirdness on Dean's part that was freaking hilarious but still...completely okay. Most of all I loved the characters, not only Cora and Dean, how they are together and the slow burn of their relationship, but also the secondary characters like Lizzie, Jake, Molly and so many more, who are all just as wonderful.
With all these things that I loved, plus a gorgeous epilogue, this book just hit all the marks for me; in fact, I'd call it absolutely perfect. One of my favorite reads so far for the year and a wonderful new author for me to stalk...erm, follow. 5+ stars
BUT...Thankfully I don't give up very easily, and I'm sure glad I didn't this time, either. After reaching that point, the story really took off like a shot, especially when Cora and her daughter, Lizzy showed up on the island. Everything started to move very quickly from then on, so if you can get through those first 5 chapters, then you are in for a real treat. I loved how helping each other get through the rough times, helped these two heal themselves in the process. And I must say, Lizzy was a very sweet and funny child. Precocious at times, but a pure joy all the same. This story has some very emotional moments that take place between Cora and Dean, but it's all balanced out very nicely with a lot of funny things that take place in this story, also.
This was a great read. One that I would highly recommend to everyone.
And I have to agree with one of the other reviewers here when they stated: "How the author used excerpts from both Cora's blog and Dean's journal to sneak in bits of past events and feelings without using flashbacks or interrupting the flow of the story." That was my exact thought about those short journel posts, too.